Serial 9B – Rubik's Cube
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Twenty-Eighth Entry in the EC Unauthorized Guide O' Takin Over The Asylum
D O C T O R W H O
Serial 9B – Rubik's Cube -
Part One – Dunno Can’t Remember
The Temporal Difference of Opinion between the Time Lords of Gallifrey and the Mighty Dustbin Umpire rages across all the known universes. Bowships attack the Deathsmiths of Goth, Black Hole Carriers clash with Death Stars and N-Forms fight to the death against a spatio-temporal shake’n’vac.
As the time lines of lesser races and planet shift and higher species are devastated, Doctor Who is trying to get locked up in a Gallifreyan lunatic asylum in a desperate attempt to dodge the draft.
The Doctor claims he has total amnesia. His (for want of a better term) companions agree this is likely. The Doctor’s post regenerative amnesia has always been more intense than other Time Lords – indeed, his latest transformation left him with no idea who he was, and he soon lost it again in a booby trap from the Bastard, again in a devilish attack by Lavros, then having his mind sucked out by Agrajag, then the Sunnydale Brain Sucker-Outer, the devastating legacy of Retroactive Continuity, the emotional turmoil of the afterlife, and now hitting himself in the face repeatedly with a frying pan seems to be the last straw. The Doctor adds there was also that time he accidentally nuked Gallifrey and was left wandering amnesiac for one hundred years.
"How do you remember that?!" C'Rizz demands.
"I don't!" shouts the Doctor, thinking quickly.
The Time Lords ultimately decide that the Doctor IS amnesiac and so sends the TARDIS hurtling towards the Rubik’s Cube, a Lemarchand Box the size of the planet Jupiter. It is staffed by Cenobites, a bunch of extra dimensional punk rocker S&M demons who are dedicated to giving Time Lords the ultimate experience in either pleasure or pain. The Doctor isn’t a hundred per cent certain which is right, but is confident he’s got a 50/50 chance of Nirvana.
A booming voice is heard, "WARNING. YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER RUBIK’S CUBE - ALL FORMS OF ARE PROHIBITED. DO NOT ATTEMPT KARIOKE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. KARIOKE MACHINES WILL BE FORCIBLY REMOVED. (GENITAL PIERCINGS ARE COMPULSORY). CAUTION. YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS. YOU HAVE NO POWERS. YOU HAVE NO DEFENCE. YOU ARE NOW INSIDE THE RUBIK’S CUBE. HAVE A NICE DAY."
The TARDIS lands in the foyer of the Rubik’s Cube next to a pot plant, a few comfy chairs and a table of old Woman’s Weeklys. The Doctor, still trying to act amnesiac, pretends to be surprised that this is not the Festival of Ghana but a reception area with no water cooler.
Charley and C’Rizz are immediately struck by the cold metallic structure, the lack of light, windows or deodorant. There is the stench of human sweat, human fear and very cold coffee. The Doctor picks up a copy of Cosmopoliton when a small goblin jumps onto the coffee table and vomits all over the magazines and then explodes.
The Doctor suspects this is some wacky Cenobite initiation ceremony, and is confident that they will be honoured guests, treated as kings with every sordid whim fulfilled utterly no matter how baser the instinct beneath it.
C’Rizz confides to Charley he isn’t sure if the Doctor is truly amnesic, but the Time Lord is clearly utterly insane enough to warrant a spell in this Gallifreyan mental institution.
In the distance, a toilet is flushed. Charley and C’Rizz decide it might be safer to take a suicide charge against the Dustbin Emperor flagship than hang around a beige waiting room. The Doctor laughs in their faces, accusing them of shitting their pants in fear because of a few scary noises.
"And an evil little goblin with an exploding head," C’Rizz reminds us.
"Oh yeah, that too. Sorry, forgot."
The Doctor goes over to the charity box and starts to steal the cash contained therein while the others decide to ditch him.
In a painfully embarrassing moment of stupidity, Charley and C’Rizz get lost in the waiting room and assume the TARDIS has disappeared when it is simply on the other side of the room. Charley and C’Rizz also think the Doctor has vanished and they run out of the waiting room, screaming hysterically.
The Doctor watches them go, muttering something like "gaywads" under his breath as he empties loose change into his pockets.
However, a hooded black shape holding a hook steps from behind the TARDIS and calmly approaches the Doctor as he hums old Zombie songs to himself and flips through a copy of Rolling Stone...
Meanwhile, Charley and C’Rizz run off down the corridor, wailing and moaning with less rational thought than a script writing session for Touchwood. OOOH YEAH! SMACKDOWN! SMACK FUCKING DOWN!
The sound of a pencil falling to the floor stretches their sanity to breaking point as two pierced, demonic figures step out of the kitchen area. This is Butterball, an immense fat demon munching donuts, and Dreamer, a bald white-skinned leather clad woman.
Dreamer’s presence immediately cause Charley and C’Rizz to slobber with lust and immediately agree to her orders to become her bitch.
These Cenobites have used their sinister psychic powers... and very mundane powers of hearing and eyesight... to locate the time traveling sluts, and suspect they might know how to set up their broadband internet connection.
Butterball is furious to discover that the goblin formally known as "Pistonpants" has exploded before he can chip into the sweepstake on the outcome of the Temporal Difference of Opinion. Butterball continues to bitch as they head down the long, dark corridors and muses that, if he were a particularly cynical and paranoid Cenobite, he’d suspect the staff of Rubik’s Cube were being hunted down by an unknown force, one by one and it is too late for any of them to survive.
"Oh, shut yer cakehole," Dreamer snaps, slashing open Butterball’s guts and nearly drowning C’Rizz in the yellow, bloody fat that gushes out with insane high-pitched laughter.
As Charley quietly vomits in the corner, Dreamer admits she is unable to fathom why two hominid pleasure seekers like them would be dumb enough to come to the Rubik’s Cube of Unending Torment?
The time travelers explain that they were just escorting a loony Time Lord called the Doctor who has a complicated repetitive amnesiac disorder. Butterball checks the duty roster and realizes he won the sweepstake of "How Doctor Who Escapes Time Conscription". He is so delighted his pancreas drops out.
Dreamer calls Charley and C'Rizz craven and pathetic liars and Cenobite wannabes that couldn’t be Goth enough to get into a Marilyn Manson cover of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love".
However, this does not have a soul destroying effect on either 1930s rent girl or pan-universal Eutermisan, neither of whom know anything about Marilyn Mason, Soft Cell or even what a cover is. Dreamer sighs and stubs out a cigarette on her own forehead, confusing the duo even more than they were before.
C'Rizz is also confused about why a bunch of S&M bondage freaks would piss about with definitions of pleasure and plain as justification instead of getting out the laser-sighted triple-barreled dildo probes no questions asked?
Butterball finds the conversation getting rather nauseating which prompts Charley to start it all over again, this time using the phrases "full bathtub" "4000 watts of direct current" and "conductive testicle handcuffs" and this causes Butterball to unzip his head to vomit.
Just when things couldn’t get any more surreal, a cloaked figure with a silver hook and a carnival Scream II ghost mask appears, and the Cenobites gather their flesh and entrails and run like fuck.
Even Charley and C'Rizz can tell than when Cenobites are scared shitless of something, it’s not good, and they too flee for the upper landing as fast as they can as the cloaked figure moves through the darkness towards them.
At this point, however, I feel duty bound to mention the incidental music, which is a cheerful 1980s polka on a Yamaha Organ. This has the curious effect of canceling out any real tension in this story. Or indeed interest in this story.
Dreamer explains that the mysterious psycho killer is clearly a being of immense power if it can kill Cenobites, who butcher and maim each other the same way other species breathe oxygen. The chances of ANY of them surviving an encounter with the killer is ludicrously low.
They reach the next level and close the door behind them... only for it to be opened immediately! The Cenobites have forgotten that the doors in Rubik’s Cube are swing doors that open both ways!
Screaming hysterically, C’Rizz hides behind Charley, hoping her luscious blonde hair, over-developed breasts and milk-white honey tasting skin will make her a viable target.
"Plus you’re fat enough to totally conceal me," C’Rizz sniggers.
Annoyed, Charley picks him up and hurls him bodily at the serial killer...
Part Two – Dunno Can’t Remember
Luckily, the serial killer seems disgusted at C’Rizz presence and throws him down the stairs, rubbing his hands obsessively and then running off for a watch.
Charley tells the Cenobites they must assume C’Rizz is dead... because even if they’re wrong, they DO need cheering up.
C’Rizz wakes up at the bottom of the stairwell with a blinding light being shone into his eyes by a newcomer with an even more hideous face than the Eutermisan.
This is Chatter Beast, who has found the Doctor already and drags the Eutermisan by his tongue through the corridors to the Palace of A Thousand Sucking Chest Wounds.
Inside the Palace of A Thousand Sucking Chest Wounds, the Doctor has been stripped naked and crucified by a strange looking person in a leather cape and lots of nails sticking out of his head. This is the Lead Cenobite, AKA The Angel of Suffering, AKA The Dark Prince of Pain, AKA That Bloke With All The Nails In His Head from Hellraizer, AKA Uncle Fester’s Goth Phase, AKA The Prick of Hell...
The Doctor gets bored and decides to call him "Pinhead" for a rather obvious reason, and complains that he hasn’t got ANY pleasure so far – not even the kinky, naughty variety.
Pinhead has begun this torture for various reasons, but the one that will get put in all the reference guides like this one is simply to test whether or not the Doctor is faking his amnesia. The Doctor insists he can’t remember if he’s faking or not, and although he could be lying there’s no reason for him to do so or is there?
Pinhead goes crosseyed trying to work this out, shrugs, and rams a hot poker through the Doctor’s ribcage in annoyance.
Angrily, Pinhead points out that for a total amnesiac with a complete blank for a mind, the Doctor knows his name, where he is, how he got there, and the fact the first episode was Gilligan’s Island filmed on 23 November 1963 and was so awful that watching it killed CS Lewis stone dead.
"There is something of a contradiction here," Pinhead points out, before bitching that he stupidly signed up a contract at the Gallifrey Home for the Mentally Bewildered and Terminally Incontinent when he could be out there, killing Dustbins and wiping out time streams. He could have been someone! DAMN IT! He could have been a Cenobite!
"You ARE a Cenobite," the Doctor complains, frowning.
"Oh yeah. Slipped my mind for a bit. Sorry."
Pinhead then has Chatter Beast drag in C’Rizz who the Doctor claims never to have met before ever in his entire life and he doesn’t care if C’Rizz lives or dies in fact kill him, kill him now, please, god, I beg you, please kill the bastard!!
Pinhead grumbles that maybe he should have gone for hypnosis or some other shit like that. There’s no way of telling if the Doctor is bluffing or not – the amnesiac Doctor wouldn’t care if he killed C’Rizz and the non-amnesiac Doctor would be over the moon.
Brooding on this problem, Pinhead conjures up numerous chains with barbed hooks that dig into C’Rizz exoskeleton and pulls in different directions. Maybe delight at this torture might trick the Doctor into revealing his true colours.
The Doctor insists he cannot remember anything, but would like some popcorn for when C’Rizz is ripped violently in half.
Unfortunately, C’Rizz starts making weird faces and screams orgasmically, "Oh yeah! YEAH, BABY! OH, JOHNNY CARSON! JOHNNY CARSON! JOHNNY CARSON! SPANK ME, SATAN MY BITCH, SPANK MEEEEEEEEEEE!"
This puts off everyone.
Elsewhere, Charley, Dreamer and Butterball stop for a ciggie break on the stairs and explain that the Cenobites are amoral demonic killing machines summoned forth to explore all human experience, especially those involving metal penetration of sensitive flesh.
Their missions including eavesdropping on the enemy, reconnaissance, teleport incursions, and even stripping off enemy flesh and dangling it in a pit of horny speelsnapes, each one given the AIDS virus.
After the previous Temporal Difference of Opinion, with the Haldoran Evolution Jugglers and the Eternal Bores, the Time Lords placed the Cenobites in a puzzle box the size of a planet and then off loaded the more loopy of Time Lords there for rehabilitation and occasionally lethal auto-erotic asphyxiation.
The Rubik’s Cube is now ruled by Eric, AKA Pinhead, AKA Lead Cenobite, AKA The Angel of Suffering, AKA The Dark Prince of Pain... and he’s hiding on the top floor out of reach of the mysterious psycho killer that’s running around gutting Cenobites like fish fingers. Now Butterball and Dreamer are all that’s left, which is pretty lucky as the budget could never cope for more.
Now they have been left trapped with a serial killer, in the ultimate base under siege plotline and no one is going to get out of here alive unless they are a series regular. Or Angelique the Loser Loner Loony, the hithertoo unmentioned Swamp Witch who lives in the stationary cupboard, claiming to be the most powerful Cenobite ever.
The interrogation of the Doctor is still going nowhere, and not even some cunning Cracker-style quick questions can work since the Doctor has the cunning plan of replying to every single thing said to him with "Don’t remember".
Pinhead wonders if maybe the serial killer has left a hole in the Doctor’s mind... or maybe just a hole in the back of the Doctor’s head. Neither, in fact. Since the Doctor has no hope, no rights and no chance of escape, Pinhead gets out a black and decker drill and starts to ventilate the Doctor’s skull...
Part Three – Dunno Can’t Remember
The Doctor desperately suggests that he and Pinhead can talk about this reasonably, have a cup of tea, settle down in Cardiff and be happy to each other. In fact, why aren’t they friends? The Doctor offers to change, cut his leather, wear leather and be "dead Northern" from now on, if it makes Pinhead happy.
Disturbed the Ka Faraq Gatri is chatting him up, Pinhead shudders in horror and throws the drill over his shoulder, beheading Chatter Beast in a display of postmodern animalism.
On the bright side, Pinhead now firmly believes the Doctor is truly mentally disturbed.
Meanwhile, fleeing another glimpse of the serial killer, Charley and the Cebonites hide with Angelique, who promptly kicks them out. Charley, seeing Angelique has taken the form of Anne Robinson, is more than happy to take her chances with the slasher outside.
Angelique explains she read Charley’s mind and now feels incredibly turned on and requires about thirty-four cold showers before she will be able to speak properly – and she has already seen the minds of the Doctor and C’Rizz, so this is some seriously twisted shit.
Butterball gets bored and wanders off, idly wondering if any plot will unfold before the end of the episode. He decides to remove the skin of Pistonpants and use it in a strange game of Sadism Cricket.
The Doctor suggests they remove his brain from his skull and place it in a blender, then changes his mind on the ground that similar attempts have had brain damage as a not uncommon side effect. The Doctor hurriedly changes the topic and starts humming Pink Floyd’s "One Of These Days" to himself.
Chatter Beast realizes he can torment C’Rizz to a far higher degree WITHOUT using chains and hooks and whips, and gets rather depressed as he really enjoys those parts of his work. Nevertheless, he decides to remove C’Rizz throat with a buzz saw when Pinhead notices the Doctor crushing up Pinhead’s supply of codeine and snorting it while laughing like a madman. Pinhead is put out to say the least – having all that metal in your skull can give you quite a headache.
However, the Doctor is now so full of painkillers that the Cenobites cannot cause him either pain or pleasure or any screwy definition in between. Laughing diabolically, the Doctor picks up a handy cricket bat and beats the nihilistic shit out of Pinhead and Chatter Beast, sending nasal cartilage across the torture chamber. The Doctor then reverses the polarity of the neutron flow and the Cenobites start screaming.
Cheerfully, the Doctor and C’Rizz head off to the TARDIS, where the Eutermisan accuses the Time Lord of getting him beaten up to convince the Cenobites he was genuinely amnesiac. The Doctor insists that he genuinely can’t remember his companion, but this means he has to act all surprised and amazed as C’Rizz explains that the blue box is their home and they travel through time and space in it.
When C’Rizz notes the Doctor still seemed to recognize the police box, he gets kicked in the head repeatedly. "Are you suffering from blood loss yet?" the Doctor demands to know, kicking C’Rizz in the gut.
They leave the reception area for a very good reason lost in the narrative ether and stumble conveniently across Charley seconds later. Charlie finds all sorts of holes and discontinuities in the Doctor’s account of events, causing him to panic and claim there’s a serial killer right behind them and they run up and down corridors.
Meanwhile, Butterball is furious with himself for the way he’s behaved – mainly because he had two fresh victims to flay alive and feed to maggots and what did he do? Make insults about Soft Cell! On top of that they’re trapped like Macra in a sushi restaurant and they are all going to die and maybe, he suspects, it won’t give them any vicarious thrills whatsoever!
Dreamer kicks him in the groin and removes his spinal column with the sharp end of a school compass.
The serial killer attacks the Doctor, who pulls out a set of nunchukas and a brutal kung fu Jackie Chan style fight begins, with all sorts of convenient blunt objects being used as deadly weapons. At numerous points C’Rizz is used by both sides to create complete carnage.
All underscored by that Belgian electropop jazz in a scene which really doesn’t work on audio.
The Doctor flings the serial killer down the stairwell, then clutches his head and claims he’s got even MORE amnesia than before!
Angelique emerges from the shadows and ominously chuckles, explaining she has read all their minds and knows their dirty little secrets. She knows exactly where Charley got that yeast infection, if the Doctor is really faking amnesia, and just what C’Rizz intends to do with Felicity Kendall...
"In that case..." says C’Rizz reasonably, before he, Charley and the Doctor rip Angelique’s head off and hurl her body down the stairwell, laughing while they do so.
"That was close, wasn’t?" the Doctor chuckles happily.
Part Four – Dunno Can’t Remember
Butterball and Dreamer head up the stairs looking for pretty much anything to torture, main, dissect and shag. Butterball is curious about the fact the only patient that ever turned up at the Rubik’s Cube was the Doctor and soon after a psychotic serial killer started killing everyone. In fact, the serial killer started BEFORE the Doctor arrived? What if the Doctor didn’t arrive at all, but was there all the time?
Convinced by his own argument, he swears to kill the Doctor, then trips over Angelique’s corpse and falls down the stairs.
Meanwhile, Pinhead and Chatter Beast run down the stairs believing that the sonic screwdriver is some lethally addictive sex toy. Chatter Beast threatens to use it on Charley, and is put off when she is totally up for the idea.
Pinhead, frustrated, headbutts Chatter Beast and kills him horribly.
The Doctor muses that Pinhead could be the serial killer himself. Of course, the Doctor himself could be the serial killer. Or Charley. Or C’Rizz. Or a very angry midget. But out of all the options, Pinhead would probably be the most likely target.
After a few attempts of going "eenie meenie minie moe" to work out who is the psycho killer, Pinhead gets bored and starts to summon up chains and hooks when suddenly they wrap around the nails in his head and pulls him apart in every direction.
Bits of him fly off and strike Butterball, knocking him back down the stairs for a second time.
The hooded, ghost-masked serial killer jumps out of the shadows and does an impressive juggling display of sharp blades.
To everyone’s surprise, it turns out Dreamer was the serial killer.
The Doctor, Charley and C’Rizz look on for a few minutes, get bored and wander off, discussing the 2005 European Cup Final when Liverpool was 3-0 down at half-time against AC Milan, then scored three times in the second half and went on to win the match in extra time.
They head into the TARDIS, closing the door to the stairwell and locking it after them, sealing the serial killer and Butterball trapped in the heart of the Rubik’s Cube forever. Unless, you know, someone lets them out or they break down the door or try and get through the ventilation ducts or some crap like that.
After putting a 'CLOSED FOR THE TEMPORAL DIFFERENCE OF OPINION' sign on the front door, the Doctor whistles a Puccini aria backwards in triple time and he and the others leave, realizing they have only one place left to hide from Time Lord conscription...